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The Bard of Banefort

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  1. I decided to watch the old GOT trailers to see how they compared to the HOTD trailers. Some observations: They're not as good as I remember them being, although that's probably the result of presentism. The earlier seasons usually had one trailer focusing on the game of thrones and another focusing more on the magic. They started to merge around season four or so. The first season's trailers were not very good, to be honest. It feels like it was made in an earlier era of television, before YouTube drastically increased trailers' relevance, and the show was clearly banking on Sean Bean to bring in an audience. Unlike the HOTD trailers, there was more of a focus on romance and sex (with the exception of S8, which was just a pretty dull "preparing for battle" trailer). Surprising number of shots of Yara kissing other women and of Jaime and Cersei in S6-7. Also lots of shots of women stripping their clothes off (mostly the prostitutes and Melisandre, but also Sansa being stripped in S2 and Dany in S6). Watching these trailers, you would come away thinking that Cersei was the main protagonist. She had the largest role in almost every one. The emphasis on the White Walkers was HUGE. No wonder it backfired so spectacularly. Bran was surprisingly prevalent for the first four seasons. Arya was featured quite sparingly for the first four seasons or so, which surprised me given how popular of a character she was and how much screen time she had. Sansa, who was very unpopular during this same period, was featured more prominently. If I had to guess, this was probably because Sansa was generally considered more conventionally attractive--same with Mel and Margaery, who were also featured prominently despite having considerably less screen time. Not to sound like a Twitter pundit, but the trailers were clearly tailored to attract a male audience. (For instance, I don't think there are any shirtless dudes except for Theon on the torture cross). The appeals to women seem to have been the "badass" shots of Cersei and Daenerys. If I remember correctly, every single trailer had a slow-mo shot of horses hooves. Lots of shots of the Hound swinging his sword. Jaime started to be featured much more prominently beginning in S4. One thing the HOTD trailer has that the GOT trailers didn't, in addition to larger dragons, are women speaking directly to each other. If I remember correctly, the only instance of this for GOT was a quick shot of Melisandre talking to Shireen. More CGI in the HOTD trailer, and I don't mean the dragons. A lot of the wide shots, like the tourney stadium, have that same glossy look that the Hobbit movies (which I loved, by the way) had. I would rank the HOTD trailer above both the S1 and S8 trailers, but below the other seasons. Although hindsight has proven most of the dialogue to be quite vacuous, the trailer soundbites were a lot more chilling/memorable than "now they see you as you are" or "when I am queen I will create a new order."
  2. HBO had the leaks on Reddit pulled down via copyright (not too sure how that works in this case). Personally, that seems like a huge overreaction. Most viewers don’t read spoilers, and nearly everything is a variation of a book plot that was released in its entirety four years ago. Spoilers get people more excited, not less.
  3. Some more thoughts on DnE: I think the “diversity problem” could be solved very easily, at least in the Hedge Knight. Baelor and Tanselle would presumably be played by Hispanics, and you could easily make Daeron and Valarr Hispanic as well. Steely Pate isn’t given much description outside of being short and wide, so he could be played by a POC too. They could even add some Dornish knights and envoys from Essos to the tourney roster. I don’t know what they could do about the Sworn Sword or Mystery Knight without racebending entire houses though. If Sea Snake/Nymeria/Yi Ti is running concurrently, then they might not feel obligated to, but that’s a big if. There’s also HBO’s penchant for sex and nudity to contend with. Neither Dunk or Egg are getting any during the first three books. They’d have to add some hamfisted scenes to reach the quota.
  4. For a story with so many love triangles, the promos have all been notably devoid of romance. I would have thought they’d at least be hinting at Rhaenyra and Cole. Did the earlier GOT trailers focus on Jon/Ygritte, Robb/Talisa, or Dany/Drogo at all?
  5. It’s not her death on its own that’s the problem, it’s that it’s coming right after Daenerys’ heel turn. They have close to the same ending, and Dany’s was hugely unpopular.
  6. Some more breadcrumbs, but not at great quality: First good look at Laenor and the boys. Who did Mysaria’s actress piss off? It’s like she’s disappeared from all the marketing. Rhaenyra’s saddle reminds of a roller coaster cart This is such a minor rumor that I don’t think anyone will care: apparently that’s a boar Rhaenyra killed on a hunt that she’s hacking away at. Rhaenyra has a line about not ruling through fear like a tyrant and. . . yeah. I never thought Rhaenyra was as bad as people make her out to be, but it’s like they’re deliberately trying to repeat Dany’s show arc. Maybe they’ll show Rhaenyra deciding not to rule with fear once everything goes to hell, but she still ends up getting murdered by an Aegon regardless, so what difference does it make? Rule through fear, get killed. Don’t rule through fear, get killed.
  7. A few weeks ago, I asked what people who haven’t read the books think HOTD is about based on the trailer. Well, I just saw a headline with the title “House of the Dragon star talks about sibling rivalry between Rhaenyra and Daemon.”
  8. I love Clone Wars. I’ve never been a Trekkie, so I have no idea what order the shows are in haha. I think DnE would have the potential to pull in new fans who were never into GOT, especially if they nail the casting. I don’t think it would ever be as popular as GOT or (presumably) HOTD though. Then again, it might not need to be, since there would be no dragons or White Walkers to eat up the budget. It sounds like HBO is drastically downsizing their animation department, which means the animated prequels will be a lot less likely. And that is a shame, since I think that would be a good avenue for a Valyria show.
  9. If they really are going to do one book per novella (which doesn’t sound plausible, but whatever), then it might be that they’re only going to cover the early years of DnE, while Egg is still a squire. That could be a nice change, and it would mean that we might get a few more novellas after all. Were there other successful prequels beyond BCS and Star Wars? (SW was a commercial success, if not a critical one).
  10. Does anyone know when the review embargo for HOTD will be lifted?
  11. Does anyone know when the review embargo for HOTD will be lifted? Update: Whoops, meant to post this in a different thread.
  12. Not to hate on Aegon III, but it was Viserys who figured out Thaddeus Rowan was tortured into giving a fake confession, and it looks like he arranged the standoff in Maegor’s Holdfast too. Aegon’s better moments were when he visited the sick during the epidemic and his appointment on new councilors and kingsguard after Tyland died.
  13. If there’s one thing Rhaenyra needs, it’s another love interest.
  14. I disagree. For most of FnB, Valyrian blood supremacy was clearly not to be taken at face value (ex. J/A coming up with the Doctrine of Exceptionalism only for their daughter to die of plague a few years later, followed by the deaths of ten other children). I think the last few chapters of FnB are the one time the author didn’t manage to strike the balance.
  15. I recently finished a re-read of FnB, and I think my biggest issue with the Regency is that GRRM seems to “buy into” the Targaryens-are-closer-to-gods-than-men crap for true during this part. As much as I hated Unwin Peake, having Alyn Velaryon be this golden boy who succeeds at absolutely everything just because he’s naturally so awesome was just obnoxious after a while. (The one person who has the most potential to kick his ass—Dalton Greyjoy—conveniently dies before they meet). But I think the grossest part was the Maiden’s Day Ball. There are hundreds of beautiful girls in the room, but then when the Valyrian girl shows up, she’s so perfect that everyone is stunned into silence and the morbid king is instantly taken with her, despite him being a teenage boy and her a six-year-old girl. Even if you want to argue that it was Rhaena and Baela’s approval that made him favor Daenaera, there’s still the matter that they believed this small child should marry their brother simply because she’s a Velaryon. The Targaryens like to keep it in the family, yeah, but everything about how the scene is written reinforces it from a third-party perspective. Apparently a fourteen-year-old boy would rather marry a little girl than someone his own age because Valyrian really is better. No one is good enough for a Targ except for another Targ, and FnB frames this as a victory.
  16. I find it a little odd that Tyrion never really thinks about how he didn’t get the chance to know his mother. He thinks about how Tywin blames him for killing Joanna, but doesn’t seem to care much that he grew up without her.
  17. I think the best course of action would be to consolidate the regency, with the Hour of the Wolf being directly followed by Viserys’ return. I would even keep Corlys alive until the end. Most of the main characters would be dead by then, and it would be pretty jarring to devote more than a few episodes to a new cast of characters.
  18. I believe that George confirmed Daeron was straight. My headcanon is that the Dragonknight was gay, which would make Aegon IV even more of an ass for accusing him of fathering his son.
  19. I’m guessing that, within the show universe, Aenys confided in Alyssa about the prophecy, which she then passed on to Jaehaerys. Judging by the leaks, Rhaenyra ends up telling Daemon about it, so it may not be forbidden to tell your consort. It’s probably just a precaution to keep the secret within the family and away from the maesters, who are more likely to spread the word through letters and records.
  20. Maybe HBO thinks that if they pretend the ending to GOT was great for long enough, eventually viewers will agree with them
  21. I think DnE would be okay, since it’s really only one Targaryen for most of it. But right now it would be a bit of a risky investment since there are only three stories available.
  22. That’s what I thought. The schloky-ness seems to be what people enjoy about it, and I can see why. One of the reasons why True Blood was so entertaining was because of how campy it was. So much of the buzz around the show was about sex and gore that what was overlooked was how funny it was, especially the first few seasons. When you say racial hatred, do you mean within the scope of the story, or that the author’s kind of racist? After HOTD, I think they’re going to need to take a break from the Targaryens for a few years. Not just because the focus on the Iron Throne would be repetitive, but because all the Targaryens look alike and have similar names. Hair color is usually what TV shows use to set the characters apart, at least the female ones. Even among the main cast of GOT, we had one blonde (Cersei), one white (Dany), one brunette (Arya), and one redhead (Sansa). Brienne was physically distinct enough that she stood out regardless. I think people would start to lose interest, especially after seeing Rhaenyra get roasted. I think HBO is underestimating how many people still love the Lannisters. A show about young Tywin, or maybe a story pre-conquest, would probably be a big hit. Rhaenyra’s death was also revealed in the history special on the Dance.
  23. Is the show adaptation more grimdark or schlocky though? Because everything I’ve heard about it sounds pretty schlocky haha
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